Information Policy


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The phrase “information policy” is not entirely commonplace in contemporary English. It does not possess the same self-evident significance as “foreign policy” or “public policy,” which point to a government’s respective interactions with international actors and with its domestic inhabitants. By contrast, a certain ambiguity sets in when we speak of information policy. Does it refer to a state’s efforts to gather information within its borders? The control of what information is available to its residents? The use of information for diplomatic purposes? International standard-setting? The public’s protections against governmental abuses of power, in the form of transparency or privacy laws? At times its constituent parts even seem to pull in opposite directions: “information,” as the word is deployed in the digital age, often seems to be characterized by a tendency to transgress national borders and contravene government planning—in other words, to subvert precisely the kinds of strategic designs for which policy is the instrument
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation: A Historical Companion
EditorsAnn BLAIR, Paul DUGUID, Anja-Silvia GOEING, Anothony GRAFTON
Place of PublicationPrinceton
PublisherPrinceton University Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780691209746
ISBN (Print)9780691179544
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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